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“Montessori language education requires faith.” --Liz Hall. Montessori Language Development Workshop. What happens when children come to the primary class at 2 ½ or 3?.
Montessori Language Development Workshop
Children who join a Montessori community after or late in primary often have little or no 3-D environmental experiences due to the “cages” imposed by society:
Followed by the “cage” of 2-D experiences:
All day kindergarten is essential for them.
Furnishings in the room.
Everything in your room must have a specific name.
Another day, do areas of the room.
I Spy, the distance game, matching games and grading games.
Picture Cards (3 Part Cards)
Not for picture matching!
If they are matching pictures, they aren’t building vocabulary; matching is for sensorial exploration, not the language area.
Most Montessori classrooms do not have enough sets of pictures, there should be a shelf with 15-20 sets of picture cards out at a time ~ rotated on a regular basis.Stream One: Activities for Vocabulary Development
Sets of cards should be separate from the word sets; get the words out for the beginning readers
Use different sets of cards for different groups of kids: fruits w/one, veggies, animals or insects with others.
If children don’t take to language cards:
Ask yourself, “Have they had enough experiences with the real items first?”
Try using larger pictures; they are more interesting as a first step.
Show the children an object.
Who, what, when, where and why?
What is this?
Who sent us this postcard?
When did they send it?
Where did it come from?
Why did they send it?
Models what a conversation around a given topic looks like.
Begins modeling for story writing.
Objects are preferable for lessons with pictures for follow up activities.
Give the children time to answer!
I Spy : “I spy with my little eye, something that starts with the sound ‘b’.”
Children must be familiar with the sounds letters make before you begin SPL; this builds interest.
If you get a 4 ½ year old in your class, parallel sandpaper letters with sound games; they need the experiences, but are past the sensitive period for tactile exploration (2 ½-3 ½ yrs.)
Each child gets their own letters; don’t do all letters with all kids.
Presentation of SPL:
Select 3 contrasting letters, preferably beginning with letters in their name.
Always include a vowel so that when moveable alphabet work begins they will be able to build words.
Young children should know about 15 sounds before they begin moveable alphabet work.
Older students should start moveable alphabet as soon as they know 10-12 letter sounds. They are behind and need to catch up; they cannot afford to wait until they have learned 15!
Once it has been introduced, the moveable alphabet should be used every day.
Words (ex: “hat” - “h” “a” “t” - “h-a-t” “hat”)
Try to personalize the words to the interests of the children.
Cultural stories ~ “research”
Questions ~ student answers the questions with the moveable alphabet.
Phonetic objects can be used for moveable alphabet work if you have a large number of carefully selected objects. Be sure to include: cvc, cvcc, ccvc and compound words
Personalize language and writing as much as possible – don’t categorize the teaching of letters into groups or teach them in a sequence. Categorization of letters is for the ease of the adults, not for the benefit of the children.
Primary children should be able to write short stories and read at least fifteen phonograms before they move to elementary.
Reading usually begins about 6 mos. after moveable alphabet writing.
Object box 2: All the objects but one, presenting are completely phonetic.
Phonogram sentences: He rushed off to the shop that sells shells.
Goal at primary level is to get all phonograms presented ~ different phonograms to different children at different times because “It is so much easier to teach these phonograms to primary children than it is to teach them to elementary children.” --Liz Hall.Phonograms
This is the “drill” for word reading to get them to the point where they are almost instant.
Single words groups of words whole sentences reading analysis.
Nouns Noun families Sentences
(girl) (a tall girl) (A tall girl sat.) (action, subject, D.O., modifiers)
b, d, p & q are differentiated
Helps with reading synthesis. (The flow of the letters aids this.)
Whether you teach cursive or print first, both cursive and print moveable alphabets should be available.
In order to write, children must be able to:
have a tension free pencil grip
form letters using lightness of touch
fabrics work (matching)
fit letters onto uniformly sized lines
properly space letters
form letters properly
writing in all lowercase and not slipping into capitals when they can’t remember how to form lowercase.Handwriting